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Colo. wildfires affecting tourism

Even one day of lost business affects local economy

COLORADO SPRINGS | June 26, 2012

Colorado has been forced to close some of its most popular tourist sites because of wildfires that broke out during the weekend, local officials said.

A fire near Manitou Springs shut down 10 Pikes Peak area attractions including Cave of the Winds, Garden of the Gods Park and the Pikes Peak Cog Railway, The Denver Post reported Tuesday.

Roger Miller of the Manitou Springs Chamber of Commerce said one day of lost business in the summer can have a big impact on the local economy.

Miller, the chamber's chief operating officer, estimates that 80 to 90 percent of the town's economy relies on summer tourism.

While none of the attractions are on fire, smoke can be a problem depending on which way the wind is blowing.

"If you are in Manitou Springs today, you can't even tell there's a fire," Miller said.

However, some tourists are not willing to take a risk and have canceled their reservations.

Information on fire closings is posted on the Web site of the Colorado Springs Visitors Bureau.

2012 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

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